– Japanese Nuclear Expert: ‘When I try to figure out the true magnitude of damage, I am overwhelmed’ — Almost all of Fukushima Prefecture would be abandoned if gov’t regulations were applied (VIDEOS) (ENENews, June 1, 2012)
New York — Description: Japanese Nuclear Scientist and Japanese and US medical doctors to discuss current radiological health conditions and concerns in Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor catastrophe.
Hiroaki KOIDE / Nuclear Reactor Specialist and Assistant Professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute
Now, even taking low estimate the amount of cesium-137 that is contained in the [No. 4] spent fuel pool, it’s roughly 5,000 times the amount of cs-137 released during the Hiroshima bombing.
During the press conference in New York after the lecture on the status of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident and radiation contamination in Japan, Dr. Koide of Kyoto University repeated his mantra (or curse, to many Japanese) that the food contaminated with radioactive materials from Fukushima should be consumed by adults who have allowed the nuclear power plants.
From the Japanese transcript by Portirland blog (5/5/2012):
There is no clean food.
Tokyo is already lost and finished.
(Links on what will happen if Reactor 4 collapses are down below.)
YouTube Added: 09.03.2012
This video clip is part of a morning news & information TV program called “Morning Bird” by TV Asahi, aired on March 8, 2012.
The reporter is Mr. Toru Tamakawa. The expert is Dr. Hiroaki Koide, Research Associate at the Research Reactor Institute of Kyoto University.
– #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 1: TEPCO and NHK’s Obfuscation on Corium in the Concrete (EX-SKF, Nov. 30, 2011):
In the first post on the subject, I translated what NHK reported:
It has been discovered by TEPCO’s analysis that the significant amount of Reactor 1’s melted fuel pierced through the steel Reactor Pressure Vessel and dropped onto the Containment Vessel, then melted the concrete at the bottom of the CV. It is estimated that the melted fuel may have eaten into the concrete to maximum 65 centimeters deep.
Maximum 65 centimeters deep from the bottom of the concrete floor, right?
Well no. It’s 65 centimeters from the bottom of the deep groove on the concrete floor.
And neither NHK nor TEPCO would bother to tell you how deep the groove is.
At least, NHK Kabun (NHK’s last remaining conscience, as far as I’m concerned) tweeted and gave the link to its blog post, where NHK’s analysis of the concrete-eating corium is shown with the screenshots from the program:
– Prof. Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University: ‘Massive amounts of radioactive materials will be released into the environment again’ – Fukushima Reactor Core May Have Sunk Into The Ground – ‘We are now head to head with a situation that mankind has never faced before’
– Study Shows Worse Picture of Meltdown in Japan (New York Times, Nov. 30, 2011):
TOKYO — Molten nuclear fuel may have bored into the floor of at least one of the reactors at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the complex’s operator said Wednesday, citing a new simulation of the accident that crippled the plant in March.
The simulation suggested that the meltdown may have been more severe than had previously been thought.
Soon after an earthquake and a tsunami on March 11 knocked out cooling systems at the power plant, nuclear fuel rods in three of its six reactors overheated and slumped, the operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, has said.
In the No. 1 reactor, the overheated fuel may have eroded the primary containment vessel’s thick concrete floor, and it may have gotten almost within a foot of a crucial steel barrier, the utility said the new simulation suggested. Beneath that steel layer is a concrete basement, which is the last barrier before the fuel would have begun to penetrate the earth.
Some nuclear experts have warned that water from a makeshift cooling system now in place at the plant may not be able to properly cool any nuclear fuel that may have seeped into the concrete. The new simulation may call into question the efforts to cool and stabilize the reactor, but the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, says it is not worried more than eight months after the accident.
The findings are the latest in a series of increasingly grave scenarios presented by Tepco about the state of the reactors. The company initially insisted that there was no breach at any of the three most-damaged reactors; it later said that there might have been a breach, but that most of the nuclear fuel had remained within the containment vessels.
“This is still an overly optimistic simulation,” said Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor of physics at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, who has been a vocal critic of Tepco’s lack of disclosure of details of the disaster. Tepco would very much like to say that the outermost containment is not completely compromised and that the meltdown stopped before the outer steel barrier, he said, “but even by their own simulation, it’s very borderline.”
“I have always argued that the containment is broken, and that there is the danger of a wider radiation leak,” Mr. Koide said. “In reality, it’s impossible to look inside the reactor, and most measurement instruments have been knocked out. So nobody really knows how bad it is.”
“I think it’s remarkable that we’ve come this far,” Hosono said. “The situation at the beginning was extremely severe. At least we can say we have overcome the worst.”
The worst is yet to come:
A possible worst case scenario looks like this (Flashback):
– Japan’s Fukushima plant opened to journalists (Guardian, Nov. 13, 2011):
Conditions inside the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan remain grim and shambolic eight months after the site was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami, according to the first journalists allowed inside since the disaster.
Officials showed reporters around the plant for the first time since March when the natural disasters triggered a meltdown in three of the plant’s reactors, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
Martin Fackler, the New York Times’ Tokyo bureau chief, said the site was strewn with piles of rubble virtually untouched since the tsunami struck.
He said: “There’s debris all around where the reactors are – twisted metal, crumpled trucks, large water tanks that have been dented and bent.
“You can see that this stuff has been strewn around and it has not been picked up and it’s been there for eight months.
“So I think that more than anything is a testament to how difficult a time they’ve had in trying to get those reactors under control.”
Radiation levels were still “very high”, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
The visitors all wore full protective suits, double layers of gloves and plastic boot covers and hair nets, and carried respiration masks and radiation detectors, as the site remains highly radioactive. (Shaking my head in disbelief.)
– What must be done for melt out (Fukushima Diary, Oct. 30th, 2011):
Currently, at least 3 reactors are having melt out.
Even Prof. Hiroaki Koide from Kyoyo University, who has been the most insightful advisory of us says, there is no major risk of explosion as long as the fuel rods are underground.
Tepco announced they started building the impermeable wall on the sea side of reactor 1~4 on 10/28/2011. They say it takes 2 years to build.
However, in Chernobyl, the biggest concern was the explosion underground after melt out.
They put tons of human robots to settle it down.
They assumed if melted fuel touches the underground water vein, it would cause hydrovolcanic explosion so the entire area of Europe would be uninhabited.
Soviet union was also afraid of the contamination of river.
They ended up putting 800,000 people to settle it down and they suffer from severe health damage.
In Japan, everything is concealed and nobody seems concerned about hydrovolcanic explosion and water contamination though it is likely to be going on already.
Though Fukushima had container vessel, now that all of them were destroyed,the situation is similar to Chernobyl.
Roughly estimating,Chernobyl needed 800,000 people.
In Fukushima, reactors 1~6 are in crisis, which means 800,000×6=4,800,000 people are needed to dedicate their lives.
The video is very insightful.
It explains what Soviet did to avoid hydrovolcanic explosion.
600 pilots died.
10,000 coal miners were put (all in 20s or 30s) into digging the hole under the reactor, and at least 2500 of them died before 40s.
In short, we must pay 6 times more price for Fukushima.
Yes, nuclear is cheap, and environmentally friendly.
– Critics urge Japan to widen nuclear evacuation zone (Monsters & Critics, Oct 20, 2011):
Tokyo – Scientists, environmentalists and citizens groups have called for Japanese authorities to evacuate more areas in the wake of March’s nuclear accident after finding wider radiation contamination than officially reported.
Researchers have found up to 6.15 million becquerels per square metre of soil in Fukushima city, 60 kilometres north-west of a nuclear power plant that has been leaking radioactive material into the environment since it was damaged in an earthquake and tsunami in the spring.
The measurement is four times higher than the levels used to declare mandatory evacuation areas around Chernobyl, Ukraine, after the 1986 nuclear accident there, the Japanese branch of the environmental organization Friends of the Earth said.
‘The government should encourage children and pregnant women to evacuate’ the affected areas, Kanna Mitsuta, a Friends of the Earth researcher who participated in the survey, said Thursday.
Residents in the town’s district of Watari also found their Geiger counters going off their scales, which go up to 10 microsieverts per hour, Mitsuta said.
And I bet they will have to find a lot of ‘unidentified substances in bottles’ all over Japan soon.
More on Tokyo here.
And these ‘radiation terrorists’ sprinkle everything with Strontium-90:
– News: This is where strontium is … It actually looks like everywhere (Fukushima Diary, Oct. 12, 2011)
– Tokyo’s Setagaya Says Radiation Spike Unlikely From Fukushima (Bloomberg, Oct. 13, 2011):
Tokyo’s Setagaya district officials said an investigation today of a “high” radiation reading in the area indicates it may not have come from the crippled Fukushima reactors.
The district in the western part of the capital said earlier today it will expand tests in 258 locations after a local resident alerted authorities to a radiation spike that required partially blocking off a sidewalk to the public.
Investigators entered an unoccupied house alongside the sidewalk and radiation readings led them to remove floorboards where they found a case of unidentified substances in bottles, public broadcaster NHK reported.
“When a dosimeter was brought close to the bottles the radiation readings exceeded the limit of the device,” Setagaya Mayor Nobuto Hosaka said in a press conference carried by NHK. No further details were given on the possible contents of the bottles.
The reading was more than 30 microsieverts per hour, NHK reported, which equates to a dose of 157.7 millisieverts per year, or more than 150 times the internationally recommended safety level for the general public, according to a Science Ministry formula.
The discovery follows a flurry of reports this week on a rise in radiation readings in Tokyo and Yokohama, indicating fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has formed “hot spots” in the cities.